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07 May 20. Long-Range Standoff Weapon franchise worth $10bn over lifetime: Raytheon. Raytheon Technologies is projecting that the US Air Force’s (USAF) selection of its Long-Range Standoff Weapon (LRSO) design will be worth about $10bn to the company over the life of the programme.
The company sees the programme as a valuable long-term franchise, it says on an earnings call on 7 May. The USAF gave Raytheon a sole-source contract in April for the LRSO, ending the missile development competition early. Lockheed Martin was also competing to design and build the missile. Each company was awarded $900m in 2017 for the development effort. The LRSO is a stealthy, nuclear-tipped cruise missile intended to replace the service’s AGM-86 Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM). The ALCM is planned to remain in service with the USAF through 2030.
The new weapon, which would be launched from a bomber like Boeing’s B-52, is one leg in the USA’s nuclear triad, a strategy with three options for launching nuclear attacks. Ground launched ballistic missiles and submarine launched ballistic missiles are the other two legs of the triad.
Raytheon had anticipated beginning contract negotiations with the USAF for the LRSO’s engineering and manufacturing development phase in fiscal year 2021. It expects to sign a contract in FY2022.
Winning a large defence programme such as LRSO is welcome news to Raytheon amid coronavirus-caused difficulties within its commercial aviation business. The defence-focused Raytheon Company merged with commercial aviation-focused United Technologies a few weeks earlier, on 3 April.
Former United Technologies companies Pratt & Whitney and Collins Aerospace are expected to be especially hard hit.
“We expect sales to be down significantly at Pratt and Collins,” says Toby O’Brien, chief financial officer of Raytheon Technologies on the earnings call. “We see [second-quarter] operating profit at Pratt to be a loss and operating profit at Collins to be approximately breakeven.”
In the first quarter of 2020, costs related to spinning off elevator company Otis and heating company Carrier helped push Raytheon Technologies to a $83m loss, down 106% year-on-year. To a lesser extent, costs related to coronavirus safety measures also contributed to the loss in the first quarter. First-quarter sales were down 1% year-on-year to $18.2bn. Those sales included revenue generated from Otis and Carrier, but not Raytheon Company. The Raytheon Company generated revenue of $7.2bn in the first quarter, rising year-on-year by 6.5%. It made a profit of $1.19bn for the period, rising 7.1% year-on-year. Raytheon Technologies holds about $8.5bn in cash and approximately $25bn in debt. (Source: Google/https://www.flightglobal.com/)
04 May 20. Communication Improves Combat Effectiveness. Every day, warfighters are exposed to noise levels that can negatively affect combat performance and cause hearing damage. From impulse blasts due to ammunition discharge or continuous sound from loud machinery, excessive noise is part of the military experience. The effect of all this noise directly impacts mission success.
In the presence of an impulse blast from gunfire or mine explosion, a soldier without adequate hearing protection will experience instant deafness for an amount of time directly correlated to the decibel level of the noise. Disorientation and lack of situational awareness add up to a potentially deadly situation where the soldier cannot hear verbal commands, is vulnerable to ambush and may be unable to distinguish friendly forces from hostiles.
Innovative hearing protection technology provides exceptional situational awareness for greater tactical success and enhancing soldier survivability.
OTTO Engineering is collaborating with tactical operators in all branches of the military to design and manufacture a better type of hearing protection for today’s warfighters. The result is OTTO’s NoizeBarrier® line of hearing protection. The NoizeBarrier® TAC headset gives today’s warfighters the hearing protection they need with the advanced situational awareness and communications clarity required to prevail in combat. In addition, OTTO’s Multiport Hub PTT simplifies communications with advanced audio steering when using multiple communications devices.
Proprietary NoizeBarrier® technology can enhance combat performance in three ways:
1) Improve Communications Clarity
With NoizeBarrier® hearing protection, soldiers do not have to rely on their ability to interpret hand motions or read lips to react quickly and follow orders. Proprietary situational awareness technology allows normal-level sounds to be easily heard, while suppressing loud noise and impulse blasts to internationally accepted safe levels.
Some headsets indiscriminately distort and cut-out incoming transmissions when the noise in the surrounding environment is too loud. Essential transmissions can be fragmented or even lost, which clearly jeopardizes the safety of the mission. With the NoizeBarrier® TAC there is no clipping of transmitted commands or shut-down of situational awareness, allowing soldiers to remain focused, alert and primed for mission success.
2) Simplify Control of Communications Devices
In today’s combat arena, soldiers are connected to multiple communication devices. Control of the devices can be distracting and compromise safety and combat performance. The Multi-Port Hub PTT is designed to integrate seamlessly with the NoizeBarrier® TAC headset to centralize control of as many as three different communication devices. Incoming transmissions from different devices are sent to separate ears (audio steering) for clarity and safety in critical engagements. In short, the Multiport Hub simplifies communications and helps soldiers maintain situational awareness, clarity and focus during critical operations.
3) Safety is paramount to winning the mission
Providing today’s soldiers with advanced hearing protection that allows for exceptional situational awareness is a win-win for all. With the right hearing protection, soldiers won’t be tempted to go into combat without protecting their hearing. They will be confident they can hear clearly, execute effectively and maintain greater safety overall. (Source: Armada)
06 May 20. Lockheed-Raytheon’s deadlier F-Model Javelin anti-tank missile rolls into production. Raytheon and Lockheed Martin’s joint venture for the Javelin has completed production of its first F-Model of the shoulder-fired anti-tank weapon, meant to be more lethal against advanced armor and soft targets, the companies announced Wednesday.
Though there’s no contract for international customers yet, Poland could be in line to be the first. The European country recently completed negotiations with the U.S. to buy 180 Javelin missiles and 60 launchers for its paramilitary Territorial Defence Forces, launched in 2016 amid tensions with Russia.
“I believe that the Poland case actually hasn’t been determined which way it’s going to go yet, so they could make the F-Model available to them, or they could take the E-Models out of stock,” said Javelin Joint Venture Vice President Dave Pantano. “That would be up to the government-to-government process to make that determination.”
The weapon’s final assembly takes place in Troy, Alabama, with 511 in the first lot and deliveries to U.S. government set for this fall.
The new model, also known as FGM-148F, has an advanced multipurpose warhead that combines charges to defeat explosive-reactive armor, and it has a fragmenting steel case for striking unarmored and lightly armored targets, according to the team. Its new command launch unit boasts a reduction in weight and an improved target tracker.
“The warhead now combines multiple effects into one,” Pantano said. “It multiplies fragmentation, as well as the standard high-explosive anti-tank [charge]. So now the war fighters are prepared for any mission, without having to switch out different rounds for different targets.”
Taiwan drew an immediate protest from China last year when the former asked to purchase more than 100 tanks from the U.S., along with air defense and Javelin systems. (Several kinds of Chinese-made tanks have been reportedly seen with explosive-reactive armor.)
European allies with an eye on Russian armored vehicles are likely to be interested in the F-Model, according to James Hasik, a defense industry analyst and senior research fellow at George Mason University.
“This is definitely about Russian armor. The Javelin is, by all accounts I’ve heard, a great weapon, but recent developments in active protection systems may lend some concern for its continued ability to reliably destroy tanks. I’d encourage any defense ministry in Europe, but especially those along the eastern frontier, to buy a lot of those or a similar weapon,” Hasik told Defense News.
“I should also note that the dual-purpose warhead is a welcome feature. The infantry ideally should have a single weapon for engaging multiple types of target. That’s less essential with other arms, which may have a few more seconds to think about how to react, and more carrying capacity for multiple types of weapons.”
The U.S. announced April 2 that it delivered 128 anti-tank Javelin missiles to Estonia.
Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak announced in a tweet last month that talks to buy Javelins were complete and that Warsaw was working to get more light anti-tank missiles. “This is not the end of strengthening these abilities,” he said.
Days earlier, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced that Poland was cleared to buy the Javelin missiles and 79 command launch units for $100m. The sale will help Poland “build its long-term defense capacity to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” DSCA said.
Domestically, the Pentagon last year awarded the joint venture a production contract for 2,100 F-Model missiles after passing qualification tests. The full-rate production agreement for the FGM-148F replaced the FMG-148E (Block 1).
The president’s fiscal 2021 budget request in February asked Congress for $210m, or 773 Javelin missiles for the Army and 98 for the Marine Corps; that’s up from the $163m Congress enacted in FY20.
In October, the U.S. Army delayed plans to integrate the Javelin atop the Stryker combat vehicle over problems were discovered in connecting the weapon to the vehicle’s remote weapons station. The Army also plans to mount a 30mm cannon on the vehicle.
Officials with the joint venture expect to restart the Stryker efforts this summer or early fall.
Also last year, an Estonian robot at Redstone Arsenal Test Center in Alabama test-fired the missile using a Kongsberg remote launcher on an unmanned ground vehicle. The Titan unmanned ground vehicle was built by Qinetiq North America and the Estonian company Milrem Robotics. (Source: Defense News)
06 May 20. Ukraine tests 122 mm Typhoon-1 rocket. The Ukrainian Armed Forces have test-fired the 122 mm 9M221F Typhoon-1 rocket for use with the BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launching system under the guidance of the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau, according to a 29 April announcement on the Yuzhnoye website.
Yuzhnoye stated that the tests demonstrated the upgraded rocket’s ability to reach a distance of 40 km, nearly double the 20.4km range of the original 9M22 high explosive (HE) fragmentation rocket designed for the BM-21 Grad. The changes to the design have not been made public but anonymous Ukrainian sources have indicated to Jane’s that a new solid propellant is used in the design. (Source: Jane’s)
06 May 20. NZDF selects OMAR to clear firing ranges in Afghanistan. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has awarded a contract to Organisation for Mine clearance and Afghan Rehabilitation (OMAR).
The Afghanistan-based organisation will be responsible for performing additional clearance of five firing ranges in the Bamyan province in Afghanistan.
The Afghan Directorate of Mine Action Coordination will oversee the clearance work. The contracts are valued at $3.7m.
Selection of OMAR follows a competition launched in February. It was shortlisted from among ten other competitors.
In a statement, NZDF said: “The tender document released by the NZDF in early February placed greater weight on aspects such as health and safety, methodology and qualification of personnel involved than on price. It also placed an emphasis on mine awareness education.”
According to NZDF, the Covid-19 pandemic has delayed the contract process and is expected to further impact the project.
The ranges were previously used by NZDF Provincial Reconstruction Team to fire non-explosive small-arms rounds and high-explosive rounds. The team left the country in 2013. Prior to firing operations by NZDF team, the Russian and US forces used the land to conduct live firing.
The clearance is estimated to conclude in 52 weeks. However, de-mining work will be carried out in two calendar years due to the unfavourable conditions in the province.
An initial assessment and establishment of field offices has already started by a team sent by OMAR. Following this, non-technical survey teams will commence work in the area. The new standard for range clearance will be followed. It was introduced by the International Security Assistance Force. (Source: army-technology.com)
05 May 20. USAF issues RFI for long range, high-speed, air-to-air missile technologies. The US Air Force (USAF), in association with the US Department of Defense (DoD), the Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC), and Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Munitions Directorate, on 4 May issued a Request for Information (RFI) to US industry and government laboratories for “innovative long-range air-to-air missile technologies”.
Responses, which are due by 18 June, could lead to “possible government/industry collaboration for development of Joint Forces technology capabilities”, according to the notification.
The technical focus of the RFI provides for “descriptions of innovative long-range air-to-air missile design concepts to existing full prototypes and key technologies that enable the capability”. (Source: Jane’s)
04 May 20. USAF expands hypersonic efforts with plans for another. The USAF has announced plans to commence a hypersonic cruise missile prototype programme on behalf of the DoD, in an effort to foster a scramjet industrial base and diversify the fledgling portfolio of ultra-fast manoeuvring weapons beyond the current hypersonic boost-glide programme.
On 28 April, the air force published a notice announcing plans for a ‘future hypersonic weapon’ programme, asking industry for proposals to support the goal of a new air-breathing weapon powered by a supersonic combustion ramjet — or scramjet — that could be ready for preliminary design review by Q4 in FY2021.
‘We’re excited about the potential to start that programme,’ Dr Will Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, told reporters on 29 April. ‘Scramjet is much more mature and ready to go than I originally thought, so we’re preparing to begin a hypersonic cruise missile programme.’
The latest development comes as the USAF narrowed its hypersonic boost-glide prototyping efforts from two to one in February, favouring the smaller of the two candidate weapons: the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon.
‘We will leverage work that is currently ongoing in DARPA as well as our own research laboratory,’ Roper explained, referring to the Hypersonic Air Breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC). ‘And the goal is to do what we did with boost-glide technology: get technology out of our laboratories and to help industry start to get ready for production.’
He added that recent advances in scramjet design and fabrication inform his confidence about launching a new programme.
‘I expect that we’ll be able to go pretty quickly on this,’ Roper said. “I don’t expect to be wrong on that.’
‘Scramjet is much more mature and ready to go than I originally thought’
— Dr Will Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics
On 20 April the Pentagon unveiled a collaborative research project, begun in 2019 with Norway, to prototype advanced technologies needed for a hypersonic cruise missile. The Tactical High-speed Offensive Ramjet for Extended Range (THOR-ER) is exploring advanced solid-fuel ramjet technologies.
Mike White, the Pentagon’s assistant director for hypersonics, said an air-breathing weapon has the potential to be smaller, more affordable, fit on a wider range of platforms and also accommodate a seeker.
‘So, one of the big values it brings to the table is load out and the ability to deliver weapons to the theater,’ White told reporters in February. ‘So, instead of having a small number of weapons on the bomber platforms, we can put weapons — large numbers on the bombers as well as the fourth- and fifth-gen fighters.’ (Source: Shephard)
05 May 20. Australian Defence seeks innovative partner to deliver the next generation of Integrated Soldier System. Defence has sought an industry partner to provide prime vendor services for product acquisition, integration and support to help deliver the Integrated Soldier System Project. The establishment of this partnership is part of the Australian Defence Force’s continuous modernisation of the dismounted combatant capability, under the Integrated Soldier System Project (LAND 125) tranche two.
This project aims to maintain a modern, well-equipped, dismounted combat capability with an advantage over current and emerging threats. The project will further demonstrate the government’s commitment to Australian small and medium enterprises by engaging a strategic industry partner and also reinforce the government’s commitment to ensuring Australia’s capability through the implementation of its Sovereign Industry Capability Policy.
Defence will hold an online industry briefing in May 2020 on the project, which will then be advertised on AusTender under the ATM category of defence and law enforcement, and security and safety equipment and supplies.
LAND 125 is a multi-phase program dedicated to equipping the Australian Defence Force soldiers with advanced gear and equipment that meet the modern combat requirements and provide advanced features such as decreased detectability, enhanced protection and other improvements that increase the survivability and efficiency of the personnel in the modern battlefield. (Source: Defence Connect)
03 May 20. South Korea plans to upgrade its SSM-700K anti-ship missile. South Korea is planning to enhance the performance of the locally developed SSM‐700K Haeseong (C-Star), sea-skimming, anti-ship missile, which has been in service with the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) since 2005. An official from the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) told Jane’s in late April that advanced research analysis on a potential performance upgrade will be conducted between October 2020 and April 2021.
It is unclear what the upgrade will exactly entail but the navy is believed to be seeking to extend the weapon’s maximum range – currently 150 km – to more than 200 km, bolster its anti-jamming capabilities, and enhance its satellite navigation and overall guidance system.
Military officials told Jane’s that they want the upgraded SSM-700K to have a performance similar to that of the US-made RGM-84L Harpoon Block II anti-ship missile, but with a longer range. The RGM-84L had a stated maximum range of 124km.
South Korea’s Agency for Defense Development (ADD) began developing the radar‐guided, air‐breathing SSM-700K in 1996, with mass production and deployment starting in 2005. Prior to this the RoKN had introduced US-made Harpoon and French-made Exocet anti-ship missiles.
The SSM-700K, which is currently deployed on the RoKN’s KDX-3-class destroyers, Incheon (FFX-I) and Daegu (FFX-II)-class frigates, and Gumdoksuri-class (PKG-A)-class fast patrol vessels, among others, is thought to use a phased‐array active radar seeker.
In flight the gimballed seeker scans in the horizontal plane only. The missile uses a GPS‐aided inertial navigation system for mid‐course guidance and active radar for terminal homing. (Source: Jane’s)
04 May 20. Serbia establishes Pantsyr-S1E battery. Serbia’s Ministry of Defence unveiled its recently acquired battery of Pantsyr-S1E self-propelled air-defence systems on its website on 2 May. The website showed that the Republic of Serbia Air Force and Air Defense (RV i PVO) currently has a battery of six Pantsyr-S1Es. Russia delivered the weapons to Serbia in four shipments between 22 February and 3 March. Visiting the battery at the ‘Major Milan Tepić’ barracks in Belgrade’s Jakovo suburb, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said the Pantsyr-S1E equips the 3rd Missile Battalion of the RV i PVO’s 250th Air Defence Missile Brigade (250. rbr PVD). Vučić announced that the largest-ever RV i PVO exercise would be held in October at the Pešter training ground in southwestern Serbia. (Source: Jane’s)
04 May 20. Northrop Grumman and Raytheon Missiles and Defense Partner on Next Generation Interceptor. Team to deliver unrivaled homeland defense capabilities. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a business of Raytheon Technologies (NYSE: RTX), are partnering to pursue a U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) contract for the Next Generation Interceptor (NGI). This strategic partnership will offer the MDA an interceptor solution that will support the warfighter and MDA’s efforts to rapidly deploy a system that complements and strengthens the existing Ballistic Missile Defense architecture.
“We have the right team, technology and expertise in place to meet our customer’s needs for enhanced capabilities, from the identification of a ballistic missile launched by an adversary, all the way to its elimination,” said Blake Larson, corporate vice president and president Northrop Grumman Space Systems. “Together, we will offer MDA an effective and affordable solution for defending our nation from these emerging threats.”
Northrop Grumman and Raytheon Missiles & Defense currently provide the interceptor booster, kill vehicle, ground systems, fire control and engagement coordination for the country’s Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system. Together, the two companies have conducted over 40 successful exoatmospheric intercepts.
“The joining of true experts — with mastery from threat detection to interception — creates a team capable of developing a revolutionary solution that is designed to defeat emerging threats,” said Wes Kremer, president of Raytheon Missiles & Defense.
01 May 20. Luch Design Bureau completes Alder missile contract for AFU. A subsidiary of Ukroboronexport, Luch Design Bureau, has delivered its final 16 units of Alder missiles to the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) which concludes a May 2018 contract. The final products were expected to be delivered by the end of May 2020, meaning that the contract has been met several weeks ahead of schedule. The company has remained fully operational throughout the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, and it continues to modernise the Alder missile system and test its Neptune missile system. Alder missile systems are capable of destroying armoured, light armoured and non-armoured vehicles, enemy command points, communications infrastructure, storage facilities and military-industrial facilities. (Source: Shephard)
Arnold Defense has manufactured more than 1.25 million 2.75-inch rocket launchers since 1961 for the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and many NATO customers. They are the world’s largest supplier of rocket launchers for military aircraft, vessels and vehicles. Core products include the 7-round M260 and 19-round M261 commonly used by helicopters; the thermal coated 7-round LAU-68 variants and LAU-61 Digital Rocket Launcher used by the U.S. Navy and Marines; and the 7-round LAU-131 and SUU-25 flare dispenser used by the U.S. Air Force and worldwide.
Today’s rocket launchers now include the ultra-light LWL-12 that weighs just over 60 pounds (27 kg.) empty and the new Fletcher (4) round launcher. Arnold Defense designs and manufactures various rocket launchers that can be customized for any capacity or form factor for platforms in the air, on the ground or even at sea.
Arnold Defense maintains the highest standards of production quality by using extensive testing, calibration and inspection processes.